Becker won a Pulitzer Prize for The Denial of Death, arguing that death anxiety is the most fundamental of all our motivational drivers — more powerful than our need for food, drink, or sex. In fact, Becker claimed, everything we consider “culture” is nothing more than an elaborate defense mechanism against the awful knowledge of our own mortality.
What about bionics? Robotics? Flying cars? Artificial life? Life extension? Asteroid mining? What about those more ephemeral topics: the future of human evolution, the possibilities of downloadable consciousness?
possibility of downloadable consciousness — the idea that we can store self in silicon, loading consciousness onto a chip and loading that chip onto a computer, allowing us to hang on to our personalities forever — so what happens to morality in the face of immortality?»